Two of the most progressive U.S. states when it comes to cannabis legalization offered further validation of that status based on a pair of polls just released this past week. The polls indicate a plurality of residents in Colorado and an impressive majority of respondents in Massachusetts support pot legalization.
 

Public Policy Polling reported that 49 percent of Coloradans said marijuana use should be legalized for personal recreational use, with 40 percent stating it should remain illegal. Medical marijuana, already legal in Colorado, was supported by over two-thirds of Rocky Mountain residents (68%) with a nearly inconsequential 25 percent in opposition to medi-pot.

 

In Massachusetts, DAPA Research found 58 percent of those polled supported legal pot and 62 percent backed a theoretical law that would tax and regulate recreational pot like the state does alcohol (Massachusetts has some of the most restrictive alcohol laws in the U.S. – but at least it’s legal).

 

One interesting dichotomy when it comes to Massachusetts is that, surprisingly, it is not one of the 16 states that have already legalized medical marijuana, even though the Commonwealth harbors some of the most lenient pot laws in the nation. 

 

It could be a case of Massachusetts's famed liberal tendencies being anchored by the general conservatism of the East Coast as compared to the West, which contains the majority of medi-pot states. Despite this pot polarity, 54 percent of Massachusetts residents voiced opposition to the U.S. government disregarding states’ rights when it comes to patients accessing medicinal cannabis, with a mere 35 percent behind the feds' war on medical marijuana.

 

One troubling aspect to the Colorado poll is that not even a majority supported legal pot, which may not bode well for the chances of a ballot initiative to legalize recreational use passing in November 2012; as Stop the Drug War reported, something along the lines of 60 percent support is the ideal polling percentage to confidently project an initiative winning. 

 

However, if future polls show over 50 percent of Coloradans advocating legal pot, it could sway fence sitters on the issue to vote with the perceived majority. Sometimes conformity can be a good thing.

 
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